I’m Raising Children Not Jerks

“Hey Grant it’s time to leave for school,” I tell him. As I make my way to him, strategically avoiding LEGOS and action figures, I can see he’s about to lose it. He breaks out of his toy trance and stares at me.

We are in a standoff.

“It’s time to go Grant, let’s load up,” I know what’s coming.

“No mommy. No go to school,” he yells.

“Yep, it’s time,” I repeat, for now the third time.

“No. NO! No like you mommy,” he shouts in my face.

I smile, and quietly say, “I love you.”

Only a year ago, his comment would have cut me to the bone.

Not now, though.

Instead, I add to my gold star of motherhood.

I grew up in a house full of yelling, and I hated it. In fact, I pretty much feared my dad; he was hardcore when it came to discipline, and I vowed I’d never be like him.

Instead I did exactly the opposite. The EXTREME opposite.

I tip-toed around temper tantrums, and did whatever it took to head them off at the pass. Even if it meant giving the boys ice cream for dinner, or letting them have too much screen time.

Yep, I was THAT mom.

The one you hate.

The one that raises jerks.

I quickly realized I had created two little monsters that only misbehaved around me- not their dad, just me.

It was time to clean up my mess, because there was no way I could release these monsters out into the world.

Rules were set, and followed by EVERYONE {even me}.

A set schedule was created, and followed {by me}.

Consequences for actions were firmly defined, and enforced {by me}.


Notice in the scenario that I was the biggest offender. Once I stared getting my act together, the boys slowly, but surely followed my example. In fact, our weekends are more enjoyable for all of us, and my husband doesn’t feel like bad cop all the time.

There are days when I follow the plan, and they still say they hate me. However, that’s ok, because I’m raising children–not jerks.

Brook {without the "e"} is a spunky faux redhead and former UI grad who has decided to call Iowa City her home for over 10 years. She met her husband on the internet, and they spend their days playing superheroes with their two boys, Edison (2007) and Grant (2010). She juggles mom life with a full-time job as a marketing consultant, competing in triathlons and writing her heart out on her personal blog www.redheadreverie.com. She believes life is a journey, not a destination.


  1. Oh boy! Did I need this post today. My child was being a challenge and trying to break me. I’m trying to be strong and I hope that I am raising her not to be a jerk or a brat! Thanks for making me realize that I’m not alone here. 🙂


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